Welcome James! It is so exciting to have you here at Indie-Licious. As a writer of YA fantasy and the paranormal it is super exciting to interview a college with the same fictional passion. Fantasy writers tend to be a unique breed, in a good way. People often ask me, what made you think of that? Or, do you believe in supernatural beings? Let us get to know the man behind the magic.
What do you enjoy doing when not writing?
"I read a lot (mostly Fantasy). I love to watch British TV (Sci Fi like Dr Who etc. And yes I am an American). I'm working with a new literary magazine that publishes fiction and non-fiction short stories. I love to cook and I teach classes in novel outlining, novel revision and general writing."
Cooking and writing, you definitely have broad interests. Alright, when did you begin writing?
"I started writing in grade school, but I really got serious in College. I needed an English credit to graduate and took Creative Writing as the least painful alternative. I fell in love with writing and joined a very good writer's critique group on the internet – very early days, we only had email, the web was just getting started. We traded stories every week and critiqued each other, then passed out writing prompts and did it all over again. It was great fun and lasted for a few years before everyone got busy with real life. I still run into a couple of those folks once and a while. I'm glad to see they're still writing."
Do you listen to music, drink coffee, etc. while writing?
"I have an epic soundtrack playlist on my iTunes. It's always playing, unless I want a change, then I have a few channels on Pandora that I switch back and forth between. For high action scenes, it's usually 80's rock music. I try to drink lots of water, but at 4:00 AM it's usually coffee."
I'm impressed, I drink coffee 24/7. It's my poison of choice. Okay, tell us what book are you currently reading, just finished reading or going to read next?
"I try to read the top sellers in my genre. Right now, I'm reading Brandon Sanderson Elantris. It's his first book and since he's one of the big successes stories in my genre, I want to see how he started out. Once I finish that, I'll read some of his later work to see how he has grown in his style. I also read a lot of indie Fantasy from folks I meet in the FaceBook groups. Currently my to-read includes Mer by Jade Phillips and Dragon Shield by Dianne Gardner."
Who are some of your favorite authors?
"LE Modisett JR, Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchet – Seems to be a lot of Terry's on the list, maybe I should change my name. These are just a few of the leaders in my genre and my favorites. I've also read almost everything by Heinlein and Asimov. Larry Niven and Jerry Pournell are also big favorites. There are too many to name. I love them all. I have bookshelves along the hallway walls upstairs, in the den, in my office. Books are stacked up on my nightstand, in the bathrooms, in the TV room. I must look like a hoarder."
What other projects are you working on or having coming out next?
"I am already well along on the draft of Master Wizard which will be Book IV in the Apprentice to Master Series. I have started to make notes and outline stuff for the follow on to that one, but I don't have a title for that. (Well I do have a title, but it's too early to let it out.) I have a sci-fi novel I work on when I need a break from Fantasy, and a memoir about my first wife's battle with cancer. Mostly it's the Fantasy that I focus on since it's what I love the most."
Why did you choose to write this genre?
"I write Epic Fantasy, because that is what I love to read. There just isn't enough Epic Fantasy out there. I try to make my writing accessible to all ages and Epic Fantasy is one of those where you can. I keep the violence to a minimum and don't have any "mature" scenes that you wouldn't want your kids to read. It works for me, and I think it helps broaden my audience. Besides how cool is it, when you get to write a whole chapter about someone being transformed into a dragon who goes flying around?"
Very cool, indeed! If you could live in one of your fantasy worlds and be any paranormal or have a supernatural talent what would it be and why?
"I would want magical powers that would make my manuscripts clean without all that editing and revising. No, actually, I'd love to be a Wizard and always like to write the scenes where my characters do cool stuff with magic."
LOL! I would love the magical manuscript power too! Tell us why readers will enjoy reading your book.
"There is a lot of action and suspense. You never know what kind of trouble these characters are going to get into and how they're going to get out of it. But it's more than just magic and good versus evil. One of the underlying themes in this series is the power of the paired Wizard and Sorceress. The main characters in each of the books are a Wizard and Sorceress who meet and become paired. What that means is that they are stronger when working magic if they share their power with each other. They become bonded and live or die together. This leads to examination of their relationship, and how they will get along through all the trials they have to face. It's not a romance, but there is a strong female character and a strong male character and they have to figure out their relationship as well as how they solve the magical challenges they face."
It sounds fantastic! Thanks so much for such an awesome interview!
James' latest book, Wizard Pair just released the beginning of this month!
Zhimosom and Rotiaqua are running for their
lives when they learn that they are the last
hope to save the dragons. The Evil Priest
Sulrad is killing dragons to power the magic
he needs to enslave the rest of the dragon clan.
With the remaining dragons under Sulrad's
control, there will be no stopping his evil.
When Zhimosom learns that Rotiaqua’s
magic is bound to Sulrad's, he realizes that
killing the Priest is not an option. Zhimosom
must find a way to stop Sulrad before the
Council falls under the attack of Sulrad’s
dragon army, or lose his partner and his
magic, and witness the destruction of the
last of the dragons.